Coral Fish – Feeding Techniques And 10 Wonderful Examples

Coral fish

Last updated on July 13th, 2022 at 02:46 pm

Coral fish are fish that live in close relation to or among the coral reef. Coral reefs form complicated environments with significant biodiversity.

Amongst the myriad residents, the fish stand out as intriguing and vibrant to see. Numerous types can exist in a little location of a healthy coral reef, a number of them hidden or are well camouflaged. Coral fish have actually established numerous innovative expertise adaptations to survive on the coral reefs.

Coral reef takes nothing less than one percent of the surface area of the world oceans, however, they still provide a house for 25 percent of all marine fish types.

Coral reef environments are a sharp contrast to the open water environments that comprise the other 99% of the world oceans.

Loss and deterioration of the coral reef environment, increasing contamination, and overfishing consisting of the usage of harmful fishing practices are threatening the survival of the coral reefs and the associated coral fish.

Description of the coral fish

Coral reefs are the outcome of countless years of co-evolution amongst algae, fish, and invertebrates. They have actually become intricate and congested environments, and the fish have actually progressed to lots of innovative methods of survival.

A lot of fishes discovered on the coral reefs are ray-finned fishes, understood for the particular sharp, bony rays and spinal columns in their fins. These spinal columns provide powerful defenses, and when erected they can typically make it be locked in place and are very poisonous. Numerous coral fish have also developed puzzling colorations to confuse their predators.

Coral fish have also evolved complex adaptive behaviors. Little coral fish get defense from predators by hiding in coral reef crevices or by shoaling and education. Numerous coral fish restrict themselves to one little area where every hiding location is known and can be accessed immediately.

Others travel the coral reefs for food in shoals, however, they go back to a known location to hide when they are non-active. Resting little fish are also susceptible to attack by crevice predators, many fish, such as triggerfish, squeeze into a small hiding area and wedge themselves by erecting their spines.

As an example of the adaptation made by the coral fish, the yellow tang is a herbivore that eats benthic grass algae. They likewise provide cleaner services to marine turtles, by getting rid of algal growth from their shells.

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Coral fish do not endure other fish with the exact same color or shape. When alarmed, the normally placid yellow tang can erect the spine in its tail and slash at its opponent with fast sideways motions.

Example of coral fish that live in coral reefs



Known for their distinct shape and typically noticeably vibrant markings, Angelfish, as a type of coral fish are among the more various types of fish in the Coral reef, with over 80 various types in the family overall.

Common attributes of the Angelfish are their beauty, analytical nature, and propensity to be discovered in all levels of the upper coral reef, from the surface to the base of the coral formation area.

Patterns that can be discovered on Angelfish range from thin, brilliant stripes to multi-colored speckled patterns that make no 2 fish of the family look precisely alike, and they form a bulk of the topics for undersea photography for lovers on the Coral reef.

Butterfly Fish

Butterfly Fish

A close relative of the Angelfish, Butterfly Fish share lots of physical qualities, however, they are normally differentiated from Angelfish due to their more extended, thinner “noses” which tend to jut out from their body.

Vibrantly colored and patterned (with the dominant color normally a brilliant yellow), the butterfly fish as a type of coral fish include color to what is already a brilliant tapestry of rainbow-colored marine creatures.

The bodies of Butterfly Fish are extremely thin, which assists them to pass through smaller-sized passages so that they can dine on their normal diet of coral polyps or algae growing on the coral reef. Butterfly Fish are likewise known for being extremely devoted to their mates and stick with them for life.

Cardinal Fish


Little, evasive types, Cardinal Fish have big eyes and mouths for their size and are identified for having their dorsal fin separated from a single protrusion into twin fins, a very rare feature amongst coral reef-dwelling fishes.

Cardinal Fish loves the nighttime and generally buries themselves within spaces in coral or caverns throughout the daytime prior to moving around in the night to get the fill of their normal shrimp and crab-based diet plan.

Regarding their coloration, those of the Cardinal Fish are frequently reasonably unnoticeable which is a contributing element to their capability to avert the lots of bigger predators that live in the very same waters.

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Clown Fish

Clownfish Ocellaris

Clown Fish, also called Anemone fish, have recently sprung to global popularity due to Disney/Pixar’s hit CGI film finding Nemo. Clownfish are exceptionally popular with the diving community, and Clown Fish in specific are characterized by their extremely recognizable markings, generally with an intense orange coloring combined with a radiant white or light blue band.

Their environments are the sea anemone from which they obtain their name, having developed a resistance to the otherwise toxic tentacles of these soft ocean plants through coating themselves in a layer of mucous.

This functions as a natural defense system against nearby predators, as the Clown Fish can nestle itself among the anemones, which will poison any overaggressive threats to the fish, a mutually beneficial relationship. While they are little in size, Clownfish are likewise popular for being among the most available types of fish in the Coral reef due to their propensity to live in shallower waters, making them typically noticeable by snorkelers without requiring to dive down even more into the coral reef’s depths.



From sensational intense colors to dull, soft colors, Damselfish are among the most typical types discovered in the Coral reef and can be seen essentially all over. Damselfish are remarkably territorial for their size and varied coloration.

They generally stake out a designated “house” among the coral reef which they will then protect with their lives typically against any predators much bigger than themselves.

Depending upon subspecies their diet plan includes either plankton or algae, with the plankton eaters usually having brighter colors and the algae feeders being duller tones of brown and orange.


Gobies are a substantial family of fish that are small in size and with brief life expectancies. For the Gobies, they carry out a supportive yet necessary function within the community of the Coral reef as they act as victims for a big number of predators within the very same environment.

Gobies primarily live at the bottom levels of the coral reef and usually take a trip either alone or in little groups so as to prevent detection by the predators.


Brightly-colored and with a unique, “pouty” mouth, Triggerfish are among the most quickly recognizable types of fish on the Coral reef. Lines, areas, and a myriad of other patterns that differ from one fish to another are a trademark of the Triggerfish family, and as such similar to Surgeonfish, they are another popular function of fish tanks.

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Aside from their look, Triggerfish are well-known for their moods, being excessively aggressive and typically biting fish and even individuals that overshadow them in size. They have strong jaws which they use to eat food of such hard-bodied sea entities such as mollusks, sea urchins, and other shellfishes, and therefore their bite can pierce rather deeply when biting down on human skin.



A few of the most aesthetically striking fish in the whole Coral reef, with brilliant colors integrated with stripes and patterns being the standard with the types and as an outcome, are extremely popular fish for individuals to keep in home fish tanks. Surgeonfish obtain their name from their spiked blade and poisonous fin spine which extend from their bodies and they use to secure themselves from both predators and fellow members of the very same types when participating in territorial disputes.

Big, vibrant schools of surgeonfish are a regular sight on the coral reef and are the topic of lots of postcards and publication picture shoots aiming to promote the coral reef, and with an excellent cause – a school of surgeonfish swimming in unison is the equivalent of an ocean-dwelling, moving rainbow!

Parrot fish

What could a fish potentially share with a parrot? Upon seeing a Parrot fish the very first time, it will instantly be known – their mouths have a unique similarity to a parrot’s beak, which they use to bite off difficult sections of coral, this makes them a perfect example of the coral fish.

Being essentially a “medium-sized” coral reef residence fish and with numerous brilliant colored patterns on their bodies being the standard, they are among the most noticeable types in the Coral reef and also help to fill the waters they occupy with a bunch of extra colors.

Adding to their noticeable nature is the truth that they reside in reasonably shallow areas of the coral reef’s waters, making them a regular sight found by snorkelers adventuring in the Coral reef.

Parrotfish likewise have one strange practice that helps in contributing to the advancement and development of the coral reef itself – they use their teeth and beaks to grind up coral and after that excrete it as the sand which assists in time to develop little islands and sandy beaches throughout the world.

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Trout as a coral fish

Coral Trout are among the most popular catches for fishermen dropping a line in the Coral reef’s waters due to their capability to bring a high rate on foreign markets and also their taste. Coral Trout rank relatively high up on the coral reef’s food cycle themselves, with a diet plan that consists of lots of other smaller sized fish (with Damselfish being a specific favorite.)

Among the most aesthetically sensational qualities of the Coral Trout is the male’s capability to immediately alter its color when placing on a display of courtship trying to mate with the female, an incredible phenomenon to witness when diving.

Depending upon types, Coral Trout normally grow anywhere from 70 to 120 centimeters in size and hence are among the bigger typical citizens of the Coral reef.

Feeding techniques of coral fish

Numerous coral fish types have actually developed various feeding techniques accompanied by specialized mouths, teeth, and jaws specially matched to handle their main food sources discovered in coral reef environments.

Some types even move their dietary routines and circulations as they develop.

This is not unexpected, provided the substantial range in the types of prey around the coral reef.

The main food source of coral fish such as butterflyfishes is the coral polyps themselves or the appendages of polychaetes and other little invertebrate animals.

Their mouths extend like forceps and are geared up with great teeth that enable them to nip off such exposed body parts of their victim.

Parrotfishes consume algae growing on coral reef surfaces, using mouths like beaks well adjusted to remove their food.

Other coral fish, like snapper, are generalized feeders with more basic jaw and mouth structures that permit them to forage on a wide variety of animal victim types, consisting of little fishes and some invertebrates.